From around 1910, the Danish film industry was a world leader, both commercially and artistically, with Nordisk Films Kompagni (now Nordisk Film) at the forefront. Stars like Asta Nielsen, Valdemar Psilander and Fy & Bi were famous way beyond their home country, and Denmark’s greatest film director, Carl Th. Dreyer, was prolific during this period as well.
Now the Danish Film Institute has launched stumfilm.dk (Danish Silent Film), where everyone can follow the digitisation of more than 400 works from the 1897–1928 period. As the films are digitised, they will be streamed on the site, accompanied by posters, photos, thematic articles, scripts and contemporary reviews.
A work in progress
Running over the next four years, this film-archaeological project will be both wide-ranging and unpredictable. Some of the old reels have not been viewed since the 1920s, but creating their path to stumfilm.dk also means that we are building the infrastructure continuously until the end of 2023.
We will contextualize the films in thematic collections, which highlight the fascinating, mysterious, awesome, sexy and funny stories hiding in the archive. Whether you are a researcher, enthusiast or just curious, you can dive into the early star culture, get an insight into the digitization process, or just browse your way through the cornucopia of cinematographic treasures.
The biggest of its kind
Stumfilm.dk is the biggest film-dissemination effort ever in Denmark. A three-year Danish-German research project affiliated with the digitisation effort will map the cross-border traffic of ideas and people between two leading nations of the silent film era, Denmark and Germany.
The project is made possible by a donation of DKK 30 million from the A.P. Møller Foundation, the Aage and Johanne Louis-Hansen Foundation and the Augustinus Foundation.